Home » Travel » Destinations

History of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Mar 12, 2008
Plank walkways along shores are portrayed as romantic in movies and indicative of lazy days strolling by the water. In 1865, John Leibrant constructed a public bathhouse built near the famous landmark. Bathhouses became extremely popular around Santa Cruz. Visitors were educated of the healing properties of immersing themselves in salt water. Picture stands, shops, and restaurants began to crop up around this area adding the history of the Santa Cruz boardwalk.

By the turn of the century, Fred W. Swanton who was a well-known promoter decided to build a casino and plank walkway, which opened during 1904 and burned down 22 months later in 1906. This didn't stop Swanton who made plans to rebuild the same day the fire occurred. It reopened exactly one year to the day of the fire. The casino and plank walkway was beautifully lit with several white lights. The claim it has proudly made since the beginning is it stands as "Coney Island of the West."

Amusement rides began to appear around the area in 1908. The first roller coaster was constructed of wood, took thrill seekers on a four minute ride, and was $35,000 in construction costs. A merry go round was added in 1911 and still remains as a viable attraction to visitors. The most popular ride to date is the Giant Dipper, which opened in 1924. By 2007 55 million ride enthusiasts had been on the Giant Dipper.

Many Miss California pageants add to the history of the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk. They were held there for a number of years. The area was hard hit to a degree during the Depression and even World War II timeframe, but made a strong comeback during the fifties and sixties. The Autorama, Tilt A Whirl, and Wild Mouse were constructed during this era. The Sky Glider which uses ski lifts takes riders over the beach for a bird's eye view.

The 1970's and 80's brought additional rides and renovations. During the 80's a banquet and conference center was added to the tune of $10 million. This included giving the Victorian appeal back to the area as well as updating gift shops. A movie "The Lost Boys (1987)," was filmed in an around Santa Cruz and many of the scenes were filmed right in this area.

Friday night concerts offered free of charge by Pepsi started in 1988. Damage sustained by the Plunge building during the 1989 earthquake precipitated a renovation over $5 million. The state of the art Neptune's Kingdom opened hosting miniature golf, restaurants, game, and entertainment spaces.

Throughout the nineties and the first decade of the millennium, the history of the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk continues to change and grow. More rides and attractions have been added. Presently, there are thirty-five rides, several food offerings, three arcades, and dances and other entertainment are offered.

The sandy coast stretches alongside for one mile of Monterey Bay to San Lorenzo River's mouth. This is California's oldest amusement park throughout the entire state. It is family owned and operated even to present day.
About the Author
Seb Frey is a Capitola, California Real Estate Broker specializing in Santa Cruz Real Estate. He is fluent in Spanish and enjoys helping people find their piece of the American Dream in Santa Cruz. You can find Seb's blog at SantaCruzHomeBroker.com/blog.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 161
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources